Reminders of God’s Love: A Review of Three Books by Anthony DeStefano

The Donkey That No One Could Ride

[A tale of faith]

“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Age Range 5-8

Grade Level: K-3

Donkey was a small, frail creature.  He knew that was accurate because everyone told him it was true.  Even his owner abandoned him because he wasn’t able to carry anyone or do any kind of work so he considered Donkey worthless.  Donkey was left alone to ponder his weak and frightened life.  Then, quite by surprise he was brought to a man who was different than anyone he had ever met before.  The man’s voice was gentle as he explained that he wanted Donkey to carry him into the city.  Donkey knew in his heart he could not do what the man asked because he was a desperate loser.  This man told him that “the weaker a person is the more strength he would give if they had faith.”  Donkey didn’t know why he believed the man, but he felt his powerful love.  Suddenly, he gained strength and became more courageous!  He humbly accepted the duty before him and carried the man to the town. They walked through throngs of people who were actually praising the man as a prophet and savior.  Donkey was overjoyed that he was chosen to carry a king even though he was “young, weak, and small.”

The Sheep That No One Could Find

[A tale of obedience and forgiveness]

“Look into my Heart and see there the love and mercy which I have for mankind, especially for sinners.  Look, and enter into My Passion.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

Age Range: 4-8

Grade Level: Pre-K-2

Little Sheep lived in a flock of perfectly happy sheep who loved their shepherd.  After awhile, Little Sheep made the reckless decision to leave the safety of the shepherd because he found it a burden to follow him. At first, he actually felt quite liberated to be on his own.  Then, he met a wolf who tried to deceive him, a ferocious and angry lion, and a snake who was a very convincing liar.  Little Sheep recognized each predator for what they were and ran from them barely escaping.  He fell into a pit and began to despair because the three deceitful animals patiently waited for him.  Little Sheep admitted he had been wrong to leave his shepherd who protected him.  All of a sudden he heard the shepherd calling his name.  He couldn’t believe he was searching for him – one little sheep!  The shepherd fought the wolf, lion, and snake and rescued Little Sheep.  He told the shepherd he was sorry for every mistake he had made.  The shepherd’s love was so deep and his mercy so great, he forgave Little Sheep and welcomed him back to the flock.

Little Star

 [A tale of love]

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” – Mother Teresa

Age Range: 4-7

Grade Level: Pre-K-2

It is almost Christmas and a father tells his son the story of the Christmas Star.  His story begins when all the stars in the heavens hear the rumor about the birth of a baby king. They prepare and practice shining their brightest because there is a special award for the brightest star.  When these stars see the new baby in a lowly manger they declare that the child could not possibly be a king.  There is one tiny, ignored star that sees Mary and Joseph searching for a place to stay and then Jesus’ humble birth. Little Star understands that Jesus is just little, and He chooses to be like the poorest of the poor.  Jesus’ message of love so moves him he reaches out to touch the child.  He burns as brightly as he can until his rays actually spread to the new king. By dawn Little Star’s brightness is completely extinguished. The father then explains to his son that the star is not forgotten because people continue to put a star on their Christmas tree to commemorate Little Star’s love – his great reward.

Possible Issues:

Sensitive children may be upset when Little Star burns himself out. They may also be concerned about the wolf, lion, and snake pursuing Little Lamb.

Further Discussion:

Anthony DeStefano has written wonderful stories that are perfect for the recommended age groups and introducing three Bible stories:  “The Lost Sheep,” “The Entry into Jerusalem,” and “The Visit of the Magi.”  Children will be excited about each tale as either a read aloud story or one read independently.  Parents’ hearts will also be touched and renewed to hear the message of God’s infinite love once again through the eyes of their child.

Other children’s books written by Anthony DeStefano:

A Travel Guide to Heaven for Kids

The Puppy That No One Wanted

Roxy the Ritzy Camel

This Little Prayer of Mine

 Catholic Resources:

  • The Lost Sheep [Luke 15: 1-7]
  • The Entry into Jerusalem [Matthew 21: 1-11, Luke 19:28-38]
  • The Visit of the Magi [Matthew 2: 1-12]
  • A few stories of faith:
  1. The greatest story of faith is The Blessed Mother.
  2. Joseph had the strength to believe and be obedient to God. He was “a righteous man.” (Matthew 1:18)
  3. There are many saints’ lives that demonstrate faith.
  4. Noah demonstrated the strength of his faith when he carried out God’s commands [Genesis 6: 1-22]
  5. Abraham showed the power and strength of faith that he had in God. [Genesis 22: 1-18]
  6. Moses was never uncertain about the choices he made in faith. [Hebrews 11:27-30]
  7. Mustard Seed [Matthew 13:31-32, Matthew 17:20]
  8. David and Goliath [1 Samuel 17: 37, 45]
  9. Three Wise Men had faith to follow the star to Bethlehem. [Matthew 2: 1-12]
  • A few stories of forgiveness:
  1. Jesus [Luke 23:34]
  2. The Prodigal Son [Luke 15:11-32]
  3. The Unforgiving Servant [Matthew 18:21-35]
  4. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” [Ephesians 4:32]
  • Stories of Love:
  1. Any story about Jesus.
  2. Any story about The Blessed Mother.
  3. Any story about the saints.
  • After reading The Sheep That No One Could Find, memorize the Act of Contrition.
  1. My God,
    I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
    In choosing to do wrong
    and failing to do good,
    I have sinned against you
    whom I should love above all things.
    I firmly intend, with your help,
    to do penance,
    to sin no more,
    and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
    Our Savior Jesus Christ
    suffered and died for us.
    In his name, my God, have mercy.


  1. O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. 
  • CCC 1485 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”‘
    • CCC 1489 “To return to communion with God after having lost it through sin is a process born of the grace of God who is rich in mercy and solicitous for the salvation of men. One must ask for this precious gift for oneself and for others.”

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